Shape Up: Tips to stay fit in the cold

Amy demonstrates a side plank. Pictures: JODIE DONNELLAN
Amy demonstrates a side plank. Pictures: JODIE DONNELLAN
Amy demonstrates a squat jump.

Amy demonstrates a squat jump.

Amy demonstrates a push-up.

Amy demonstrates a push-up.

AS the temperature struggles to reach double figures and the rain clouds roll in, it seems a huge blanket of nil-motivation is cast over the once-avid exercisers flooding through my door. 

And to be honest, I don’t blame them. My favourite part of that last sentence was blanket! Staying warm and comfortable is how I survive winter. Is that you too? 

Please don’t misconstrue my message here. I’m not saying it’s OK to skip exercise because it’s cold – this only makes it harder to get back into it when the weather warms up. Not only that but you will lose your fitness. Nil exercise equals an unfit body, simple.

And to all my dedicated clients who still make the trek to their sessions each week (regardless of how dark and gloomy it is outside), you are excluded from the above description. You are of the tough variety, that’s for sure.

So, here’s what this little warm weather lover does to stay motivated and maintain fitness in winter. 

I adjust my exercise regime accordingly. I change the time of day from early mornings and late evenings to late afternoon, when the daily temperature has reached its peak. 

And if my schedule is too full to take time in the afternoon or on my lunch break, I dress in clothing fit to tackle the frost. 

Once you commit to exercising, you’re up and moving and your body temperature will rise. The hardest part really is taking that first step out the door. You will feel so much better having done something and the endorphin release will be your immediate reward. You will feel happy, healthy and fit. 

If you’re still not sold, here’s my solution to those who simply cannot brave the elements. 

Stay fit with this indoor, zero-equipment, full-body workout: Warm up by jogging on the spot, then begin to lift your knees higher. Do this for about one minute. 

Then drop to the floor (chest down, and touching the floor) and using an explosive movement, push your body up, jump your feet in under your chest and stand up. 

Continue to jog on the spot keeping knees high for about 15 seconds, then drop to the floor again, jump up and continue this sequence for about three minutes.

Your muscles should be warm now, so it’s time to move onto some harder strength exercises. 

Next come push-ups for 20 reps (from knees or toes, depending on how strong you are), squat-jumps for 20 reps and holding a side plank for 20 seconds (each side). 

Then throw in 50 quick jumping jacks (star jumps) to get you puffing a little harder. Repeat this combination of exercises for as many rounds as it takes for you to feel fatigued. 

Guaranteed to keep you warm this winter. Enjoy!

* Please note that this workout is for those with no real injuries to work around. If you do need guidance, please see your preferred fitness professional for their advice.

Amy Holmes is the owner of Shape Health and Fitness. Follow her blog at


Discuss "Shape Up: Tips to stay fit in the cold"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.